Original Research

Validation of the Timberlawn Couple and Family Evaluation Scales–Self-Report in Veterans with PTSD

A modified version of the the Timberlawn Couple and Family Evaluation Scales was validated to assess intimate partner relationship functioning among veterans who suffer from PTSD.

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Although about 8.3% of the general adult civilian population will be diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in their lifetime, rates of PTSD are even higher in the veteran population. 1,2 PTSD is associated with a number of psychosocial consequences in veterans, including decreased intimate partner relationship functioning. 3,4 For example, Cloitre and colleagues reported that PTSD is associated with difficulty with socializing, intimacy, responsibility, and control, all of which increase difficulties in intimate partner relationships. 5 Similarly, researchers also have noted that traumatic experiences can affect an individual’s attachment style, resulting in progressive avoidance of interpersonal relationships, which can lead to marked difficulties in maintaining and beginning intimate partner relationships. 6,7 Despite these known consequences of PTSD, as Dekel and Monson noted in a review,further research is still needed regarding the mechanisms by which trauma and PTSD result in decreased intimate partner relationship functioning among veterans. 8 Nonetheless, as positive interpersonal relationships are associated with decreased PTSD symptom severity 9,10 and increased engagement in PTSD treatment, 11 determining methods of measuring intimate partner relationship functioning in veterans with PTSD is important to inform future research and aid the provision of care.

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